Monday, April 6, 2015

Lack of execution stings Lohse in brief season debut

By one statistical measure, Monday marked the poorest start of Kyle Lohse's long and steady career. It happened to come in front of the third-largest crowd in Miller Park history, on Opening Day, and for a team eager for a fast start in the wake of last season's collapse.
"Doesn't matter if it's the first one, the last one or somewhere in the middle," Lohse said after the Brewers suffered their most lopsided Opening Day loss in 42 years, falling 10-0 to the Rockies on Monday. "I don't put any more pressure on myself because it was Opening Day or be any more disappointed because it was Opening Day. It's disappointing to have a game like that."
Lohse's contribution to the game spanned 3 1/3 innings, included eight runs (all earned, matching a career high) and 10 hits, seven for extra bases. The Rockies' five doubles off Lohse matched the right-hander's career high. He faced a 4-0 deficit after one inning, a 7-0 deficit when he left the game, and it was 10-0 in favor of the Rockies by the time the fourth inning had concluded. Lohse earned a Bill James game score of nine, his lowest of 395 Major League starts.
"I was frustrated. I wasn't doing what I normally do, executing pitches," Lohse said. "I kind of got outside of my normal sequences and you saw the result. I couldn't get it back going. Usually I'm able to grind through and salvage something after the first inning, but it just didn't happen today."
A critical at-bat came three hitters into the game, when Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki capped an eight-pitch battle with an RBI double. Tulowitzki fouled off a pair of two-strike changeups before hitting a down-and-in sinker down the third-base line for a 1-0 Colorado lead.
Three batters later, Corey Dickerson hit a two-run home run off the end of his bat. In the third inning, Nolan Arenado hit an inside pitch for another two-run homer.
"It's something you never expect to see from [Lohse]," said Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun, who exited the game in the sixth inning with a strained rib cage muscle. "He's just so good, so consistent. Rarely do you see him get hit hard like that."
It also happened in Lohse's final start of Spring Training, when he surrendered seven earned runs in four innings. Lohse said that outing was different because he was working on specific pitches.
Monday, he was just working to get outs. They proved elusive.
"I think I kind of got outside what I normally do," Lohse said. "I never got in sync, being able to make pitches, and it made for a 'long, short' outing."

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